Postharvest heat treatments

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Postharvest heat treatments are being used for disinfestation and disinfection of an increasing variety of crops, including flowers, fruits and vegetables. This review focuses on the effects of heat on the commodity and its postharvest quality. The effects of a postharvest heat treatment on aspects of ripening and development of thermotolerance is discussed. Ethylene production, respiration, softening, color change and taste components such as soluble solids, acidity and volatiles are dealt with. Heat treatment induction of thermotolerance, both to high and low temperatures, so as to prevent heat injury and chilling injury is discussed, as well as the possible mechanisms of action of this response. Heat damage manifestations from unsuccessful treatments are described.

Susan Lurie
Postharvest Biology and Technology